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What is the point of outside dogs?

Posted by krycek1984 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 19, 10 at 1:25

What exactly is the point of having outside dogs? I don't get it. Why have dogs if they are just going to live outside? It seems like a lot of bother (poop scooping, food and vet expenses) just to always keep the thing outside.

I know that some guard dogs and working dogs are outside almost all the time but I've encountered people that get them as pets and they are "outside" dogs. I never understood this concept.

Am I missing something?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I'm with you 100%..I'll never figure it out either
Christine


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I have always wondered also. Dogs need to live where the family lives. They are great for security, but not if fenced in a yard (or tied up). Our (7) cats live outdoors, and I feel guilty if one of us doesn't spend time next door letting them into the guest house for 'lap time' - and I feel cats need to be outdoors because it is in their nature to hunt and explore.

Dogs have been socialized to live with their people.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I wonder, though, how many people start out with the intention of keeping their pet as an outside only dog?

It seems like the more common situation (in my limited experience) is that people start out with a puppy in the house, but can't cope with the training required to keep it inside, and end up relagating it outside.

I think this mostly because I never see puppies left outside (granted, there is a short window of puppy-hood).


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

What about those folks who buy a dog for their small kids and have no bond to their dog whatsoever? We have them down the street. The adorable pug is always in the backyard, they rarely bring it out even when they play out front with dad, and every time we pass by for our dog walks, twice a day, their little dog yipes at us. Sometimes I think it is begging for contact, of any kind. Seemingly nice people, so clueless. Hope they are more in touch with their children.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Cats should NOT be outdoors. It is no more their nature than a dog's nature. Outdoor cats live much shorter lives (less than 50% as long) as indoor cats. They end up attacked by dogs, coyotes, other cats, fisher cats, etc. They get hit by cars. And they kill countless birds. Saying your cats need to be outside is an excuse, just like people who think their dogs should be outside.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I totally agree Sue. Dogs AND cats need to be inside animals. Why have a pet if they aren't where you are? None of my cats have ever been outside except for the mother cat who was alone, pregnant, starving , and longing for affection.. That was many years ago and she would never leave this house if you left the doors wide open. My dogs are never outside either unless I am.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Freezetag is probably right. I think a lot of dogs get relegated to the outdoors because the owners don't know how to deal with their behavioral issues, but fear what will happen to them if they give them up. It's a legitimate fear and that's why forums like this one are important for helping people deal with their pets' issues.

I also agree with Sue about cats. I see so many dead cats on the road, especially in rural areas where people think that because they have acreage it's ok for their animals to roam. There's nothing natural about being hit by a car. I could never sleep at night if I thought one of my pets could be lying bleeding and dying somewhere simply because I chose to open the door and let them out. They're a hazard to drivers, too, when they suddenly dash across the road.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I doubt you will hear many farm families say that cats shouldn't be outside! Rodents destroy all sort of expensive farm equipment as well as eat expensive feed. Our cats are totally loved by us but also have a real purpose for living here. They are working cats. BTW, we never went out of our way to get a cat -- these were left here (not the kittens though.) We will take in any that are abandoned in the future also.

I seldom see feathers from a bird kill, but they get voles, moles and mice on a daily basis. Yes, most won't live past 10 years, but they sure live a happy life.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I had a dog that HATED being inside. He would pace, whine, howl, and tear up things.

He hated rain, but hated being inside worse.

Now, he was built to stay outside. Alaskan Malamute. Even in 100 degree weather(I kept him in the shade and blew cool air from inside into his dog house) he preferreed outside.

And farmers would ask the reverse question? What good is an inside dog?

Many dogs have been bred to be inside dogs in todays world. Those dogs should be inside dogs. My neighbor's Shih Tzu, for instance. No way could Andy survive outside for long.

But, there are many dog's who need to be outside animals.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I have inside dogs and cats, part of my family ... and I have a feral barn cat who lives, quite conmfortably, in my barn.

I got her from a local rescue, they were looking for barn owners to adopt barn cats, that could not be adopted as pets. The rescue captured my barn cat and others from a feral cat colony of 50+ cats; spayed them, gave them their shots, checked them over and tried to socialize them.

Obviously, the ones they socialized were adopted out as pets ... the others are adopted out to barn owners like me.

She's a long-haired tortie, really pretty ... she looks like a raccoon in the winter when her fur gets long. She keeps my barn clean of rodents ... She has her food and water bowls that I fill daily ... she shares them with a little tiger cat she found at another barn and brought home. During the winter she has a big box filled with blankets that she sleeps in, and a heated water dish.

She tolerates my presence and my dogs and donkeys ... but if I get too close she's gone in a flash. She has a much better life in my barn than she would have in the feral cat colony. She leaves me mice once in a while to show her appreciation.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Pam, your story is an exception. The feral cats who cannot be tamed, and many can't ever be, have the perfect life with people like you who care for them in protective surroundings. I'm sure that little tortie is happy having a home where her needs are tended. I'm talking about friendly cats who are adopted or rescued and left to run outside. My first cat was left in and out , mostly in, but we lived in a quiet cul de sac where there were few cars and that was 35 years ago.At age 13 he almost died from a wound suffered in a fight. After that, he stayed indoors and lived till 20. I was young and stupid and later educated myself on the horrible danger awaiting outdoor cats like anti= freeze, traps , malicious people who poison animals, kids who torment them, wild animals or dogs who kill them, cars who hit them and diseases thy pick up eating dead carrion. Meanwhile my cats sit on their sunny window sills , eat when they want, play when they want, and know that they are protected and safe and none have any desire to go out. .


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Oh jeez I didn't mean to start a debate!

I firmly believe that all pets should be "inside".

That being said, our old house which we still own was in a semi-rural part of the metro area. The animal rescue down the street has a section for cats that can't be indoors (they may be semi-feral, or were outside their whole lives and can't accept living indoors). That's the only time I'd have an outdoor cat. If the animal rescue place says they are semi-feral or relaly can't go inside, I'll trust them. They would be happier in a huge 20 acre yard than in an animal shelter.

Other than that, I really do believe dogs and cats should be inside. People don't realize, and/or don't care, that their outdoor cats will die much earlier.

Dogs should almost always be inside, they have been bred over millenia to be human companions. There are rare exceptions for certain working dogs like handymac describes but 99% of the time dogs should not be relegated outside. What a shame for those dogs.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

At a dog festival yesterday, I met the woman who has chained herself to a doghouse outside the capitol for weeks. I admire her. She was on a local talk show last week and local yokels called and said the state can't tell them what to do with their dogs. Butt out of our lives, they said. They can shoot their dogs if they wish. I admire this woman and her cause . She had a wall of shame with pictures of tied dogs who never ever socialize with humans and rarely have shelter from the elements. Her website is UnchainPADogs.com


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Actually, most of the number of different breeds in existance today are less than 300 years old. And some less than 100 years old.

Dogs with heavy or layered coats are at a huge disadvantage indoors.

I totally agree with not chaining a dog. Or not socializing one. There are exceptions. Sled dogs have to be chained since it is usually cost prohibitive to build pens. And they are built to survive below zero temps and deep snow. As long as they get the proper exercise---pulling a sled---they are among the happiest dogs on earth.

Speaking of exercise, not properly exercising a dog is among the worst things man can do to a dog. Herding dogs need to herd. Standard poodles need to hunt water fowl---that is their instinct. Sight hounds need to run full speed. And so on.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I'm not debating ... I actually think pets should be kept inside ... to me they are family.

I was responding to some "generalilities" posted above ... about cats never being outside. That's what happens when people post general statements, someone like me is going to come along with the exception to that general statement. :>)


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RE: What is the point of outside cats?

Here is my barn cat ... she's very pretty! Snoozing in the sun ...

Barn Cat


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Beautiful kitty, pamghatten. As long as she has adequate food and shelter, I see no reason a kitty can't live outside. I know it's safer inside, but some cats just can't tolerate it. I have an outside kitty too, (as well as an inside one). I am the third neighbor to "own" this kitty. She is well known in the neighborhood. I keep her warm in winter and she has me at her beck and call for dining privileges. She likes my dogs. Who could ask for more in a kitty?


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

We had two "outside" dogs who had a great time patrolling the back yard, playing with each other (and us) and sleeping in the sun.

They came in frequently, but they would ask to go back out after an hour or so.

The back yard was their territory, and their responsibility


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Lazygardens - that sounds like my dogs! nearly an acre of yard, a creek, plenty of wild life to keep them active, and me working in my garden three or four hours a day! They hate being inside - would much prefer to lie on the front porch and watch the world go by, or be on the deck at the back of the house, snoozing in the sun. they all get long walks everyday, plenty of chew toys, one-on-one time with each dog, and frequently back off at the thought of being in the house.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I think there's a huge difference between dogs who spend a lot of time outside by choice and dogs who are left on a chain or in a pen in all kinds of weather and mostly ignored. I doubt anyone here has a problem with the lifestyles of the dogs lazygardens and bmmalone describe.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

my second great dane rescue came from a neglect situation. she was bought as a puppy and when she was no longer "cute", she was relegated to the back yard which was privacy fenced. the only human contact she had from 6 months to 3 years old was when they fed her and filled her water bucket.

when she came to rescue, she was terrified of pretty much everything. she had no idea she could drink from a bowl in the house. she would not eat a meal unless she was behind a closed door. she was in foster for several weeks before i got her and her foster mom NEVER saw her eat.

it took months to bring her out of her shell. she has the sweetest personality, she is SO lovable, it amazes me that her original people could ignore her like they did. their loss, my gain. she is a total social butterfly now.

my dogs go in and out at will. sometimes they stay out for a while. other times, they come right back in. i can't imagine it being any other way!

my third rescue dane was left out in the back yard, behind a 5' chain link fence for 8 or 9 hours/day. being the social dog that he is, he would see activity at the neighbor's house and started jumping the fence to join in the fun. thankfully, his owners didn't want to deal with him so they turned him in to rescue. again...their loss, my gain!


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my danes

my second great dane rescue came from a neglect situation. she was bought as a puppy and when she was no longer "cute", she was relegated to the back yard which was privacy fenced. the only human contact she had from 6 months to 3 years old was when they fed her and filled her water bucket.

when she came to rescue, she was terrified of pretty much everything. she had no idea she could drink from a bowl in the house. she would not eat a meal unless she was behind a closed door. she was in foster for several weeks before i got her and her foster mom NEVER saw her eat.

it took months to bring her out of her shell. she has the sweetest personality, she is SO lovable, it amazes me that her original people could ignore her like they did. their loss, my gain. she is a total social butterfly now.

my dogs go in and out at will. sometimes they stay out for a while. other times, they come right back in. i can't imagine it being any other way!

my third rescue dane was left out in the back yard, behind a 5' chain link fence for 8 or 9 hours/day. being the social dog that he is, he would see activity at the neighbor's house and started jumping the fence to join in the fun. thankfully, his owners didn't want to deal with him so they turned him in to rescue. again...their loss, my gain!


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I have wondered about the same thing. We live in a small rural town and a vet turned an office next to us into his Animal Hospital. They have a dog that stays outside in all weather, even during the 110+ days of summer. The dog barks at everything, all day. We had work done on our house and the dog barked all day at the workers for a week. Last night at 11 pm the dog was still barking so I called them and said I am tired of listening to the dog bark.
I feel sure the dog is just bored in the fenced in yard, but his barking is driving me batty. They have his dog house next to the fence and he barks the entire time I am working in my garden.
Very stressful and this is a vet!!!!!!!!


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

There is a huge difference between dogs who love to be outside and those who are chained and get no human attention. My own dogs are out all day if we're outside too. The Dachshund would sit under the tree all day and look at the squirrels. But then at night he and the other one are snug on their beds, not tied to a dog house in the sweltering heat or frigid cold.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

The Labrador next door is strictly an outdoor doggie. His mommie finds him just too large and clumsy to have underfoot inside. This family has had a series of Labs going back 20-30 yrs, and they have all been outdoor dogs.

BUT!!! Every one of these dogs has been well trained, and properly exercised. Never simply abandoned out there. The current guy loves this time of year, because he gets to go hunting with Dad. We'll be babysitting him for the next 10 days while his people vacation, and he ain't coming into our house either. But he'll get walked at least an hour per day.

I don't think the real debate should be about indoors or outdoors. Responsible dog owners care for their pets, and train and exercise them properly, regardless where they live.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

I agree. All my pets are indoors. What's the point of having a pet if you don't want it to be around you (most people live indoors!)? If I had a horse, which I don't, I would probably want it to be inside with me but I know it's not quite realistic. Pets belong with their owners. Companion animals means animals that keep you company.


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RE: What is the point of outside dogs?

Labradors need companionship - they are very social canines, if you can't have them inside as part of the family, please don't get that cute little fat puppy which will grow into a very large and active dog.


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